The Weekly Verdigris Blog by Laurel Brunner

This article was produced by the Verdigris project, an industry initiative intended to raise awareness of print’s positive environmental impact. This weekly commentary helps printing companies keep up to date with environmental standards, and how environmentally friendly business management can help improve their bottom lines. Verdigris is supported by the following companies: Agfa Graphics, EFI, Fespa, HP, Kodak, Kornit, Ricoh, Spindrift, Splash PR, Unity Publishing and Xeikon.

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Preaching Print’s Sustainability

medium_Laurel_2012.jpegThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Preaching to the converted has always seemed a little self-indulgent. And since the converted already agree with you (mostly), what’s the point? In the printing and publishing industries we unfortunately have a fragmented voice, when it comes to teaching print media’s sustainability to markets and consumers. Teaching’s too heavy a word, raising awareness is better. Whatever we call it, as an industry we should be promoting the sustainability more widely.

The Trouble with Labels

medium_Laurel_2012.jpegThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Labels and packaging are amongst the most vibrant of print sectors, one of the few where the Internet is unable to cannibalise the business. Digital printing technologies are creeping into label and packaging printing, invading traditional domains and creating all sorts of new opportunities. Labels are a growth business but environmental impact has not been much of a consideration. And yet at the recent LabelExpo show in Brussels, Belgium, an exhibitor was offering “a new, user-friendly tool to help label printers and end-users understand the life cycle impacts of different labelstock products and get credible information on the environmental performance of their labels.”

Trees For Digital Sign & Displays?

medium_laurel3.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Trees are obviously vital to the printing and publishing industries, but they could well soon be vital in rather unexpected ways. The use of wood as a biomaterial beyond the conventional, is starting to change. For printers and publishers this has some interesting possibilities, ranging from furniture that can present digital versions of newspapers and magazines, through to roadsigns that appear to be part of a hedgeline or trees.

It Goes Deeper than the Label

medium_laurel3.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Preparing for LabelExpo, the next big trade show in the graphic arts, one wonders when there will be a label expo that is all about certification labels, especially environmental ones. There are just so many of the blighters. It seems their proliferation these days is mostly about money and capitalising on different market needs. Apparently even the FSC logo costs, if a company wants to use it once achieving certification.

Take it to the Max

medium_laurel3.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

There is a fast food burger chain in Sweden that alongside the price and product name states the carbon footprint of each item on its menu. Max Burgers started some fifty years ago and has grown rapidly to have presence in most Swedish cities, trading on its reduced environmental impact and the fact that its meat all comes from Sweden. It’s a big success story and it’s story that shows how effective labelling and packaging can be in reducing environmental impact. Putting the CO2e values of different dishes on menus, product packages and labels has helped raise environmental awareness amongst Swedish consumers. It has also given tiny Max an edge over its rather more mighty competitor.